02:20 GMT +319 November 2018
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    Honduran migrants take part in a new caravan heading to the US with Honduran and Guatemalan national flags in Quezaltepeque, Chiquimula, Guatemala on October 22, 2018

    White House Commends Mexico for ‘Unprecedented’ Efforts to Stop Migrant Caravan

    © AFP 2018 / ORLANDO ESTRADA
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    On Wednesday, US White House press secretary Sarah Sanders praised Mexico for taking “unprecedented” steps to slow down the caravan of Central American migrants making its way toward the southern US border.

    The caravan, which has been reported to contain anywhere from 3,600 to 7,200 Central Americans, continues to advance toward the US-Mexico border, where the migrants hope to receive asylum in the US. The majority of the group is made up of citizens from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who are escaping violence and poverty in their own countries. The caravan is currently located some 1,000 miles from the southern US border and is estimated to be weeks away from arriving there. 

    "We are in constant communication with other countries. Mexico has stepped up in an unprecedented way. We want to continue to be able to work with them," Sanders said in a Fox News interview, adding that Mexico has blocked the caravan from using buses to transit their territory, forcing the migrants to move on foot.

    "They [Mexico] have helped stop a lot of the transportation means of these individuals in these caravans, forcing them walking. They have helped us in new ways to slow this down, to break this up and keep it from moving as aggressively toward the United States," Sanders added.

    "Again, they can do more, but at the end of the day the president is going secure our border and he's not going to let people that we don't know who they are, why they're coming or what they're coming for, into our country," she noted.

    The press secretary's statement came just minutes before US President Donald Trump tweeted that Mexican soldiers "were unable, or unwilling" to stop the caravan from crossing the Guatemala-Mexico border.

    ​On Wednesday, Trump also warned that 15,000 troops could be sent to the US-Mexico border to stop the migrant caravan from entering the country.

    ​"We'll do up to anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 military personnel, on top of Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and everybody else at the border. Nobody's coming in," Trump said before heading to a Florida political rally.

    The president has also previously threatened to withhold foreign aid from countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and issue an executive order blocking Central Americans for gaining asylum in the US.

    Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that 5,200 US troops were being deployed to the US states that border Mexico in preparation for the caravan's arrival next month.

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    Tags:
    caravan, migrant, Mexico Border, Donald Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, United States
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